Suboxone Side Effects
Induction Side Effects
The induction phase is the period from when you first begin Suboxone, to when you become adjusted and comfortable. There is no set timeframe for the induction phase; instead, it ends when you reach a therapeutic level, as determined by both you and your prescribing physician.
During the induction phase, you may experience side effects that are similar to, though not nearly as severe, the symptoms of withdrawal. This may continue for up to a week or so while your body transitions from opiates to Suboxone. Taking more Suboxone than prescribed will not alleviate these symptoms and in fact, taking more can actually increase the severity and longevity of these side effects.
Side effects of Suboxone during the induction phase include:
- Nausea (mild-to-moderate)
- Mild fever
- Uncomfortable feeling
- Muscle cramps and pains
- Depression (mild)
- Withdrawal symptoms (mild)
Common Side Effects of Suboxone
At least one of the most common side effects of Suboxone appears in almost 80% of patients who take 8mg or more on a daily basis. The severity of these side effects peak at around the first month of taking Suboxone, and begins to decrease thereafter. Within a few months of stabilization at a therapeutic level, most symptoms will completely dissipate.
- Nausea (mild)
- Insomnia (mild-to-moderate)
- Muscle aches
- Muscle relaxation
- Depression (mild-to-moderate)
- Slowed breathing
Less Common Side Effects of Suboxone
Less common side effects of Suboxone present in less than 30% of all patients. While these side effects are not life threatening, they can impede your ability to function normally throughout the day. If you experience two or more of these side effects, and the severity of your symptoms does not decrease after the first month or so of regular use after stabilization, talk to your prescribing physician about decreasing your dosage or switching to an alternative medication, such as Subutex or Methadone.
- Nausea (moderate-to-severe)
- Migraine-like headache
- Insomnia (severe)
- Dull overall pain
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle spasms and twitching
- Myoclonic jerks (muscle and/or brain “zaps”)
- Chest tightness
- Yellowing eyes
- Anxiety (severe)
- Depression (severe)
- Respiratory depression
- Lucid or vivid dreams and nightmares
Life-Threatening Side Effects of Suboxone
In less than 2% of patients, Suboxone can induce very severe side effects that can cause serious injury or even death. If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking Suboxone immediately and contact your prescribing physician as soon as possible. If you experience trouble breathing, lose consciousness or slip into a coma, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
- Cold, clammy skin
- Excessive sweating
- Severe muscle weakness
- Severe muscle spasms and twitching
- Dilated (pinpoint) pupils
- Allergic reaction
- Shortness of breath
- Severe chest tightness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Yellow skin
- Severe respiratory depression
- Loss of consciousness
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